Our Guest Review, DJ Nikki Hayes checks out Renault’s stylish new Estate the all new Megane Sport Tourer
I must admit, I had never driven a Renault before this but I had heard the horror stories from my more car savvy friends about broken windows, unreliable electrics and cheap looking interiors. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I pulled onto the forecourt of Linders Renault in Chapelizod and I was met with a very snazzy looking fleet of vehicles. Maybe this wasn’t going to be the before-rumoured horror story after all, as it was already looking like more of a fairy tale.
First Impressions Matter
The second I walked through the door of the showroom I was greeted by the very professional receptionist who instantly led me into the sales office asking if I wanted a tea or coffee. Almost immediately, in walked Alan, the sales manager. With a big smile and a big handshake I instantly was put at ease.
It’s been a few years since I bought a car but my previous experiences involved standing in a forecourt and having an over excited sales person try and sell me anything and everything possible to the point of making me feel pressured. Thankfully though, this was light years away from that and I immediately felt relaxed.
As I had my coffee we spoke about what I wanted in a car, my likes, my dislikes, my wants and more importantly my needs. As we browsed through the various models, one thing kept jumping out at me. All new Renaults came with a 5 year or 200,000km warranty! That’s a lot of worry free driving in my books and it also showed me how confident that Renault had become in their new fleet!
First up, Alan took me to see the all-new Megane Sport Tourer.
Inside the Megane Sport Tourer.
From the outside this car looked amazing! The first thing that caught my eye was the ‘GT’ badge. This was the higher spec model with all the bells and whistles and it definitely didn’t disappoint in the looks department. Huge alloy wheels, lots of chrome and rear tinted windows meant that this car meant business!
It wasn’t until I sat into the driver seat that I appreciated the attention to detail that was put into this car. I was immediately hugged on either side by the very sporty bucket seats that reminded me of my days as a rally navigator. The mix of comfort and that feeling of security made it a very happy place to be sitting.
One thing that struck me straight away was that everything seemed to just be in the right place. Ergonomic I think is the word. Nothing seemed to be out of reach or in an awkward place. Whatever I reached out to touch felt like there was a lot of thought put into its placement.
The sporty ‘GT’ feel carried on its influence on the inside. A huge touch screen display nestled in the centre of the dash was the focal point for all of my radio, sat nav and climate control needs. As amazing as it was to see so many customisable options for the interior such as mood lighting colour and volume control for the indicator sound, I found it all a little bit too much at times and would have preferred a more simplified interface.
Oh yeah, the cup holders were way too shallow. This might sound like I’m being very picky but every time I sat a coffee into the holder; the fear of god was put into me that it would topple over at any second!
On the Road
Now down to the drive! Even though this is an estate car, it didn’t feel like it. It’s like one of those optical illusions, from the inside you see so much space but when you look from the outside it doesn’t look over sized.
When I drove off the forecourt, I felt I already knew the car. The staff had shown me everything that the car had on board but it’s in the drive that you really get to grips with a car.
The sport tourer gripped the road well. You felt like you were in a sturdy car and could confidently point it in any direction and it would go exactly where you wanted it to. This car was everything that I didn’t expect from a Renault
I drove the city traffic for a few days but thought I needed to give it a good run in the countryside to test its limits and capabilities on the secondary roads. It didn’t disappoint. Myself and my husband drove to Wexford for a little mid-week break and as much as I had enjoyed driving the Megane sport tourer in the city I really enjoyed letting it out on the open road. This is where I reaped the benefits of the all new Multi Sense feature which allowed me to select ‘Sport’ mode. In the click of a finger, the chassis stiffened up, the steering gave more feedback and the throttle response kicked up another gear! The open road is where this car now belonged and it definitely showed what it was capable of! It felt smooth, comfortable to travel in and was extremely reassuring on the road.
How practical is it?
The storage in the car was huge. You could easily pack a week’s shopping and a buggy with room to spare. My husband loved the storage compartments at the front of the car. It meant there was less mess from leaving your sunglasses or wallet near to you. Everything closed off neatly and conveniently.
So the verdict?
That’s a big thing about the Megane sport tourer – even though it drives superbly, it looks amazing but it’s extremely practical too which would most definitely suit a smaller family or someone who just likes to drive a nice car that looks good. At the end of the week when I returned the car to Renault I told them I would definitely buy this model. I had fallen in love.
10th April, 2017